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NYSS holds preparatory meeting

May 6, 2008, 6:43 AM | Article By: By A. Sallah & L. Darboe

As part of preparations for the 2008 Ecowas youth training programme, the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) in partnership with Ecowas Youth Development Center recently held a preparatory meeting at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.

Speaking at the meeting, the deputy Permanent Secretary at the Department of State for Youth and Sports, Abdoulie Kah, said that more than three billion people are under the age of 25, representing the largest chunk of young people in human history with many confronted by bleak prospects.

According to him, the lives of young people are shaped by forces beyond their control such as the prevalence of poverty, crime, the availability of education and training, employment opportunities and access to affordable health services. 

He said that the preparatory meeting provided the platform for youths to effectively prepare for the Ecowas youth training to be held at Nyanibere Farm. The training, said he, will cover areas such as Agri-business, animal breeding and forestry within the framework of the Ecowas youth capacity building programme 2008-2012.

In his remarks, the Executive Director of NYSS, Mr Musa Mbye, reflected that NYSS came into being in 1996 with the ultimate aim of providing youths with marketable skills for employment and with emphasis on self-reliance. 

He explained that the scheme also aims to discourage rural-urban drift.  NYSS, he added, targets young people between the ages of 17 and 30 with a minimum qualification of grade nine result.

According to Mr Mbye, the scheme orients youths to build their self-esteem and leadership abilities while exposing them to various types of occupations.

He stated that the Government is determined to ensure the success of the scheme and Nyanibere Farm.

Director of Ecowas Youth Development Centre, Mr Simon Taro, hailed the Gambian authorities for their 'several' interventions for youth empowerment, especially the NYSS.  He posited that capacity building is a better way to increase the chances of youths in finding a job.